SuperStore or Small Business - Which is Better?

John Krautzel
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With the emergence of powerful superstores on the retail plane, many people wonder whether small businesses or superstores are better. Whether one is better than the other chiefly depends on a number of factors. Consider some of the major areas that can help you decide.

Wages and Benefits for Employees

Many superstores such as Wal-Mart have been under fire in recent years for failing to offer adequate, affordable (if any) benefits and respectable wages to their employees. This is because superstores usually have flat pay rates for workers, but these wages can prove to be insufficient for survival in many states. Local small businesses have limited staff members and are aware of the cost of living in a particular town, and they often take pride in providing employees with real benefits and a living wage to support their families.

Caring for Customers

Superstores are notorious for having informal interactions with customers, and they often have harsh policies that leave no room for negotiation. With small businesses, the business owners are more willing to negotiate with customers in order to make the sale. Small businesses can provide excellent customer experiences for shoppers because they take the time to get to know local consumers personally and build meaningful relationships. Customer experiences in superstores tend to be more formal, and customers are often seen as just another sales transaction.

Employee Competence

Many superstores have high turnover rates, and this leaves little room for sales associates with expertise. Many consumers complain that the employees in superstores often lack the knowledge needed to help them find the right products or even answer their general questions. Small businesses can take adequate time to train employees so they are better able to serve customers in every way. Employees of small businesses are knowledgeable in many areas that affect store sales and operations, so they can answer consumer questions in detail.

Shopping Variety and Prices

Without a doubt, a superstore is better when it comes to offering high shopping variety for consumers. Superstores have an overwhelming variety of products and large aisles that offer nearly anything consumers may be searching for. Superstores are a one-stop shop for all types of merchandise, banking and even medical needs, adding to its convenience. Since big-name retailers often buy in bulk, they are able to offer products at a lower price than their small business competitors. However, small businesses are better equipped to specialize in a niche and offer higher quality products.

Effect on the Local Economy

Small businesses actually help to build the local economy and add to its individuality, while superstores have the power to suck the economic livelihood out of small towns. Many small businesses experience a harsh drop in sales when superstores come to town, and the profits that superstores earn rarely circulate back into the local economy.

Whether or not a superstore is better or worse than a small business depends on one’s outlook and personal preference. It is important to remember that customers and employees often have different perspectives on whether a superstore or small businesses are better.


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